OpenWorks Engineering Creates “Skywall”, A Net Launcher That Safely Takes Down Drones

By | March 10, 2016


The usage of drones has grown significantly in recent years, far beyond simply being an enthusiast/hobbyist device and a military weapon. Drones are being experimented with for autonomous package delivery by Amazon, 5G phone network deployment by Google, and more. While Drones can provide many benefits to society, they also create a lot of safety, privacy, and security concerns. Like many inventions, they have the potential to be misused for illicit purposes. Law enforcement needs a way to take down drones that may be operating in ways that break the law. Recently, the United States passed a law requiring drone owners of drones weighting greater than 250 grams to register their drones through the FAA.

Shooting down a drone with an ordinary firearm is a massive safety risk, as stray bullets could cause serious injury or death. Deploying another drone for the purpose of taking down a rogue drone through collision is also dangerous, as collateral damage from the drone falling to the ground could also cause injury or death.

Skywall is a gas powered launcher that shoots a net, which neutralizes the drone. It then deploys a parachute, which drags the drone safely to the ground. By utilizing a net/parachute rather than bullets, it reduces the risk of collateral damage or injury by having the drone decline slowly, rather than having parts slam into the ground and possibly civilians. It also keeps the drone intact, which means that law enforcement could then perform forensics on the device, in order to retrieve data such as what the drone was used for, who deployed it/owns it, and more.



The launcher utilizes a scope that implements a smart aiming technology. The on board computer system accounts for variables such as distance, and the velocity of the moving drone. It provides feedback in regards to aim, providing a solid tone when it is aimed correctly. If the net misses, the parachute still deploys to avoid any potential damage to nearby surroundings.

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